First and Fourth Year Medical Students’ Preferred Resources for Answering Clinical Questions

Wendel L, Doan A, Ferguson K, Oetting T, and Mandel J


Purpose: We examined how students at the Carver College of Medicine use online resources when faced with clinical questions. Methods: An electronic survey was developed and distributed to first and fourth year medical students. Results: Both first and fourth year students chose the World Wide Web as their preferred resource for information. First year students chose Google as their preferred resource, whereas fourth year students preferred UpToDate. Both groups were more concerned with finding rapidly accessible resources than nonbiased ones. Conclusions: While students do become more sophisticated in their search for online resources, many seem to value convenience over lack of bias. Medical educators, including ophthalmology course directors, must address online resource use by students in order to ensure responsible use of the World Wide Web as a clinical resource.

Journal of Academic Ophthalmology 2008: 1: 90-96. (c) Journal of Academic Ophthalmology

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